Holding On

A TeenyTiny Mistake

"He asked about you." The curly haired woman said offhandedly.

"Who?" Evie asked, glancing up from her bed. She smirked at the look she was receiving and glanced down again at the book she was reading. She knew perfectly well who the woman was referring to. "What did he say?"

"He asked if you were with me." River informed her, tilting her head and smiling slightly. "Or if I'd seen you."

"And you said no?"

"Of course I did. Just like every other time he asks before the right time."

"What if he comes here?"

"He won't. Not until after, anyway. Besides, we'd get plenty of warning seeing as he leaves the brakes on. I'd just shove you under the bed." River joked, laughing and moving to the mirror on the cell wall where she began scrutinising her reflection.

Evie sighed and screwed up her face. "Thanks! When am I allowed out again?"

River raised her eyebrows and glanced to the right, looking pointedly at the bars across the prison cell as if they'd give the teenager her answer. "Besides, you're grounded."

"So I make one teeny-tiny mistake and you decide you have the right to ground me. It's not as though you're so perfect." She pointed out, irritated.

"A teeny-tiny mistake? Evie, you used the hallucinogenic lipstick to fool an entire squadron of clerics into giving you their spacecraft. That's twelve men, Sweetie." River said turning away from the mirror and raising her eyebrows as if trying to signify how far from a 'teeny-tiny mistake' she thought the teenager's actions had been.

"Honestly, River… that was nearly a year ago. And I only borrowed their ship." Evie said defensively, curling her legs up and hugging them with her chin resting on her knees.

"Mmm… you were planning to return it after you crashed it into the moon, were you?" River continued keeping her gaze fixed on her reflection; the more she remembered the incident the more annoyed she got. The young woman made a growling sound in her throat of annoyance. "Don't you dare get sulky with me, madam."

"Well it wasn't my fault that the secondary axles jammed and caused the engines to fail, was it? That ship was a death trap." Evie argued, defending herself. "I'm almost twenty, River. You can't treat me like a child forever."

"If you act like a child, Evie, I'll treat you like one."

"Twelve clerics? Doesn't sound like a child's actions to me!"

"No… but the fact that I helped you understand exactly what you needed to do in that time loop and yet it took you thirteen attempts, proves that you are not ready to be let loose yet."

"But surely the fact that I did it in the end means that I'm ready. I mean, I shot and killed myself and then covered it up without even batting an eyelid." Evie countered. "I proved I can be just as cold and calculating as you can when you want to be, River."

"And that is exactly the reason why you do deserve to be locked up, Sweetie." River said, smirking. Evie glared at her, knowing that she would never win this particular argument. The woman had had far too long to work out her point of view and how to oppose anything the teenager said.

"Where were you this time, anyway?" She asked standing up and moving over to the bookcase opposite the pair of beds that were head-to-toe along one wall. With her back to the older woman, Evie could close her eyes and picture the scene that would be described to her.

"New New York." River said with a contented sigh, remembering the events of the day. "A race of giant cyber-rats terrorising the population."

"Sounds like fun. Was Amy with him?"

"No. He was on his own; it was just me and him." River told her. Evie didn't need to look at the woman to imagine the smile that would be playing about her lips.

"Just the way you like it then?" She said spikily, raising an eyebrow.

"For one so young you aren't half cynical." The woman laughed, walking over and putting her hands on Evie's shoulders turning her around so that she could look at the expression on her face. The younger woman smiled weakly.

"I learnt from the best, didn't I, River?" She said, raising her eyebrows.

River laughed happily, throwing back her head and spinning on her toes. She moved across the cell and threw herself down on her bed. "That's very true. But what have I told you about calling me 'River' in here?"

"Sorry… I keep forgetting." Evie apologised with a shrug, sitting heavily bedside her and peering at the TARDIS diary that the woman had just opened and was flicking through, looking for the next blank page. "Now, tell me about these cyber-rats!"


The phone began to ring in the corridor outside their cell. River, sitting cross-legged on her bed, hardly glanced up from her diary where she was writing down her latest adventure with the Doctor. Evie, who had been leaning against the wall staring out at the storm, watched anxiously as a guard walked over and answered it. Outside the weather was forbidding; thunder and lightning, reflecting the way the women were feeling.

"Cell 46… the Doctor? D'you mean Doctor Song?"

"Give me that." River demanded, leaping over to the bars. Evie was instantly beside her, eager to find out who was ringing. "Seriously, just give it to me. I'm entitled to phone calls."

The guard looked reluctant, almost as though he wasn't sure whether it was a good idea. The younger woman flashed him her most innocent smile, knowing that River would almost certainly be glaring ferociously at him. As his eyes flickered to Evie's face, he relaxed slightly and did as he had been commanded. The young woman guessed that seeming innocent and harmless was the best thing about looking younger than you were.

"Doctor?" River asked. Evie knew that it was her job to keep the guards distracted while she spoke to the Time Lord; it always had been her job. She resisted the urge to turn and glance over her shoulder as River's voice became barely audible. Instead she gazed flirtatiously at the guard, keeping his attention fixed on her. "You're phoning the Time Vortex, it doesn't always work. But the TARDIS is smart; she's re-routed the call. Talk quickly, this connection will last less than a minute."

"Who's she talking to?" The guard asked Evie as the woman stopped speaking and listened carefully to whoever was on the line. She shrugged, smiling enigmatically at the young man, who was doing his best to keep his features under control. Shaking his head slightly, he moved his gaze to the back of River's head. "Doctor Song? You finished with that."

Evie glanced over her shoulder, knowing what was coming next. It would follow the same pattern as always; on with the hallucinogenic lipstick, one quick kiss and bam, they'd be out of the cell and hiding in the store cupboard while the teenager was given her orders.

"You're new here, aren't you?" River said seductively, handing the phone back through the bars. Evie moved away from her and the guard quickly before she started feeling sick. She severely disliked River's seductive voice.

"First day." He told her almost reluctantly. The women could hear the nerves in his voice. Evie smirked slightly; poor guy, he had no idea what was about to hit him.

"Then I'm very sorry." River said. Evie didn't have to turn around to picture the scene. Moving to the back wall of the cell, she pulled out a marker pen and drew a small picture of a curly-haired woman with a speech bubble beside her. Inside the bubble she wrote the word 'bye'. Because Evie wasn't technically a prisoner in Stormcage, the guards never seemed to care when she disappeared for a while, as long as she came back, so she didn't bother adding herself to the picture.

"Evie? Ready to run?" River asked smirking as the girl turned quickly to look at her.

Evie returned her smile, putting her hands on her hips. "Why do you always feel the need to ask whether I'm ready to run? You should know the answer to that one. I was born running, mother."

o_O See that one coming? I didn't! *What a liar!*


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